YAWN. “Who CARES What Mr. Barr Thinks?” — Of Last Year’s Crazy (Stayed) Texas ACA Trial Level Decision…

Much is being made (in some quarters) tonight of the fact that the Trump Administration has flip-flopped (again!), and will now not defend a law that has repeatedly been ruled constitutional, by the Supremes. I say. . . who really cares what the Tangerine Mussolini (or his toady, William Barr) thinks? The law has already been ably defended in the Fifth Circuit — and it will stand. See below.

That law is the ACA of 2010 — (with protections for pre-existing condition coverage, upon which more than a few GOP-ers ran campaigns in favor of, and promised not to remove) but now Trump seeks to gut it ALL, at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He will fail. The opening brief from the states makes plain (in a sixty-plus page PDF file) why that is so. So, dear readers — fret not — the ACA is very safe (Condor predicts):

. . . .The minimum coverage provision remains constitutional now that Congress has reduced the amount of the alternative tax to zero. The district court held that Section 5000A(a) must be read as a freestanding “command” to buy health insurance. Again, however, the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion in NFIB, construing Section 5000A as offering a choice between buying insurance and paying a tax. See 567 U.S. at 574. And when Congress amended Section 5000A in 2017, the only change it made was to reduce the amount of the alternative tax to zero.

That change does not make Section 5000A(a) unconstitutional. With the amount of the tax set at zero, the remaining minimum coverage provision becomes simply precatory — precisely as the amending Congress intended. It is no more constitutionally objectionable than the “sense of the Congress” resolutions that Congress often adopts. Alternatively, Section 5000A as a whole may still be fairly read as a lawful exercise of Congress’s taxing powers. . . .

So it goes — Congress always retains the right to tax and spend (or refrain from taxing, by setting a given tax, at zero). . . now please, journalists — do read the entire brief before writing a story wringing your hands about 45’s latest 歌舞伎 (Kabuki theater moves). There is no. . . “there“, there. [All as Buckminster Fuller said of. . . Cleveland.]

Conversely, it does seem Trump actually believes (delusionally) he’s been somehow. . . vindicated. That feeling will soon wear off. Watch the New York state criminal courts — at the trial level, in particular. G’night — to all of good will. . . . and never stop fighting, until the fight is finished. Never.


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